By YVONNE HAIP
ANTIRETROVIRAL (ARV) drugs are running out in Western Highlands province, and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in the province are now calling on the Government to step in and assist them.
Members of the True Warriors Association said if the National Government turned a blind eye on the situation confronting them, they would protest all the way to Port Moresby.
The True Warriors Association is made up PLWHA in the province.
They have been on ARV drugs, which is supplied by the Global Foundation.
However, the Foundation has decided to stop its supply of the drug because of issues with the Health Department.
Members of the Association who are on ARV regularly carry out awareness campaign about HIV/AIDS, encouraging people to go for voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.
They say the drugs were running low in the province and this would greatly affect their health and the work they do.
Association chairman Tilo Simon said yesterday that his group is linked to other advocate groups like Friendly Carer’s, Wings of Faith, Hagen Urban Fellowship Ministry, Jiwaka Friends, All-Female group and Tru Prens.
He said these were advocate groups formed by PLWHA to help carry out awareness programmes.
Mr Simon said they have worked hard to help the provincial AIDS council in their fight against HIV/AIDS for three years, but are
disappointed that their ARV supply is being cut off.
He said they are now planning to travel to Lae, and then to Popondetta and walk the Kokoda Track to Port Moresby.
Once there reach Port Moresby they plan to petition the Government to restore the supply of ARV drugs.
Mr Simon said the association is serious in staging the protest at Waigani because they depended on the ARV drugs for their survival.
For PLWHA this is the only medication that keeps them going.
He said through their open awareness programmes, PLWHA in the province who were once afraid of discrimination, were coming out openly in public and working with the association.